Want the recipe for the best rock band on Earth right now? Take some of the exaggerated dangerousness of British invasion bands like the Rolling Stones and the Who, add the schizophrenic genre-mixing of the Pixies, throw in the punkish aggression of the Ramones and the Clash, and top it all off with an outrageous cockney accent, and you'll have a fair approximation of Mclusky's sound. Their debut album, my pain and sadness is more sad and painful than yours, isn't their best work, as it's just a bit *too* reminiscent of the Pixies (some of the lead guitar lines on this album will have you wondering why Joey Santiago isn't credited in the liner notes), and there are a few less-than-stellar tracks sprinkled throughout. Still, the worst Mclusky album is better than at least nine tenths of what's out there right now.
Like Mclusky's subsequent albums, my pain and sadness is a musical roller coaster ride, highlighted by crazed rhythms, insanely catchy hooks, and surprisingly adroit musicianship. At some points, the guys will just beat you over the head with an incendiary burst of noise, such as the opener Joy and Rise is Nice. At other times, such as on When They Come Tell Them No and You Are My Sun, they'll betray their Pixies influence by injecting a sweet melody into the carnage, with an occasional "woo woo woo" that sounds like something out of the sixties. Whiteliberalonwhiteliberalaction starts out with a sound similarly reminiscent of Black Francis and co. before morphing into a weirdness that is pure Mclusky. With a head-snapping time signature, guitars scratching at the surface, and vocalist Andrew Falkous sounding like a Welsh version of David Yow, the Jesus Lizard-esque She Come In Pieces proves further that these guys know whom to emulate.
Given how good this album is, it's a shame that few people have even heard of it, not to mention the fact that it's highly difficult to find at a domestic price. Fortunately, the success of Mclusky's last two albums, the utter classics mclusky do dallas and the difference between me and you is that i'm not on fire, have given them plenty of notoriety in underground circles of late. If you haven't heard this band by now, you have no excuse. So track down one of their albums, and be prepared to have almost everything you've ever heard seem weak and dull in comparison.